There are hand-cranked radios and flashlights, but what about cell phones and mp3 players? They too-often run out of juice in the wrong places – places where you can’t find a power socket. Ideas for a hand-cranked USB charger became a micro-hit for a minute – Ben Heck even made a video on a Do-It-Yourself hand-cranked USB charger using a hand-cranked flashlight.
It seems Sony wants to make those dreams come to a local box-store near you with the introduction of the CP-A2LAKS, a simple, easy to use hand-cranked USB charger. The device has a built-in 4000mAh battery that is charged by AC as well as hand-crank power. Charging the battery via AC power is pretty normal, plug it in. The alternative takes some 3 minutes of hand-cranking to achieve 1 minute of talktime on your phone. Also, 1 minute of web surfing requires 5 minutes of hand-cranking. These numbers could be discouraging for people who might want to use the Sony CP-A2LAKS as the primary charging device; however, the device might come in handy during emergencies or a disaster, when the user has to make an emergency call when his cell phone is out of juice.
The CP-A2LAKS has two USB ports, allowing two USB based devices to charge at once. Sony says a smartphone like the Xperia Acron HD could be fully charged in 2 hours. Sony has announced plans to officially launch the CP-A2LAKS on the 20th of June in Japan at a price of 8,000 yen (around US $100). There has been no official announcement regarding making the device available outside of Japan.